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February 2018

Sh’vat- Adar



From Rabbi Mintz, Rabbi Emerita


The Co-President’s Message, Sam Lieberman


A Message From Reb Jamie


A Note From the Cantor


Trial of the Century


Hadassah Gala


Queen Esther’s Ball


Jewlicious Learners




Nid’vei Lev and Celebrations


Calendar at a Glance


Vol. 27 - No. 6

Congregation P’nai Tikvah will worship on Shabbat, February 2nd and 16th. Tot Shabbat, Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv services will begin at 6:30 PM on February 2nd. On February 16th, Shabbat-Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv services will begin at 7:30PM. Torah Study will be on February 3rd and 17th at 9:30 AM at 2685 South Rainbow, Suite 108. If you are interested in sponsoring an oneg to celebrate an event or memorialize a loved one, please call 702.436.4900 for sponsorship and catering opportunities.

Message from Rabbi Emerita Yocheved Mintz Dear Chevreh:

‫מי שנכנס באדר מרבין בשמחה‬ When one enters the month of Adar, one’s joy increases…

And, boy, are we ready for it! If ever we needed joy in our lives, this year is it!! TGFA!! Thank G-d for Adar! With Purim coming up on Feb 28/March 1 (we’ll celebrate at services on March 2), we’re in for a month of puns and fun, highlighted by the “Trial of the Century,” our hopefully huge fundraiser at which we’ll bring up Justice Michael Cherry and ADL macharina, Jolie Breslin, on charges of being “Honorable Mensch’n”. That Brunch Roast should be a laugh riot, and hopefully a monetary success. (We all need to pitch in to make it the latter…sell tickets, bring in raffle items, sell ads, volunteer to help out!) Do contact Judi Stotland at or call her at 310-600-0594 to do your part. It is well-known that Jewish comedians abound, but did you know that there is also an abundance of Jewish humor in the Hebrew Scriptures? Remember the part in the Megillah when Achashveirosh issues the decree “Every man should rule in his own home and speak according to the language of his people?” (Some sages suspect that this decree made Achashveirosh a laughingstock all over the world.) Or how about the Freudian slip Ruth makes when she replaces “maidens/naaroth” with “young men/n’arim” when she misquotes Boaz and tells her mother-in-law, Naomi: “Yay, he even told me, ‘stay close to my young men until they have ended all my harvest.’” (Of course, Naomi must have figured out the slip, as she responds: “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maidens.” Naomi then proceeds to advise Ruth how to land Boaz as your new husband.) G-d clearly has a sense of humor. (After all, Psalms declares: “He who sits in Heaven shall laugh.” (Psalms 2:4) Recently the “New Yorker” magazine wrote an amusing article entitled “The Mysteries of Humor,” in which author Jack Handey queries “Will there ever come a time when we won’t need laughter….?” Maybe, but certainly not yet. There are many theories as to why people laugh: Incongruity, Relief/Release, Superiority, etc, and, while we generally don’t stop to categorize our jokes, we clearly recognize humor when we hear it. Some classics include: A rabbi and a minister were sitting together on a plane. The stewardess came up to them and asked, “Would you care for a cocktail?” 2

A rabbi and a minister were sitting together on a plane. The stewardess came up to them and asked, “Would you care for a cocktail?” “Sure,” said the rabbi. “Please bring me a Manhattan.” “Fine, sir,” said the stewardess. “And you, Reverend?” “Young lady,” he said. “Before I touch strong drink, I’d just as soon commit adultery.” “Oh, miss,” said the rabbi. “As long as there’s a choice. I’ll have what he’s having.”

This is an example of the Incongruity theory. Gallows humor or dark humor falls under the category of Relief/Release theory; an example of which is this classic: Hitler was said to consult an astrologer about the future. As things worsened, he asked: “Am I going to lose the war?” The astrologer answered affirmatively. He then asked: “Well, am I going to die?” Consulting the charts, the astrologer again said ‘yes.’ “When am I going to die?” was Hitler’s next question. This time, the answer was: “You’re going to die on a Jewish holiday.” “But when…on what holiday?” he asked in agitation. The reply: “Any day you die will be a Jewish holiday.”

The category of humor that demonstrated mockery, dominance, or winners and losers is generally referred to as Superiority theory, and it may also include, ironically, both belittling and denigrating others along with an element of sympathy, empathy, and congeniality. Into this broad category falls the wonderful Chelm-ites: Two wise men of Chelm were deep in conversation, discussing the intricacies of modern travel. “Let me understand you correctly,” said the first man. “It takes a horse and carriage only four hours to go from here to Pinsk; is that right?” “Exactly,” said his friend. “But if you had a carriage with two horses, then it would take you only two hours.” “I see,” replied the first. “And I suppose, then, that if you had a carriage with four horses, you’d get there in no time at all. Is that right?” “Precisely,” answered the friend. “But in that case, why bother to go to Pinsk in the first place? Better to just harness up your four horses and stay right here!”

The category of Ethnic humor sometimes falls into the politically incorrect…usually when the joke is on someone else’s ethnicity; but when Jewish humor is said within Jewish spheres, it becomes “in-group” humor. Here are a few punch-lines that probably need no explanations. (If, by the way, you want the rest of the joke that leads up to the punch-line, corner me some Shabbat and I’ll fill in…after all, it’s Adar.) 

It could lead to dancing!

No, but what a bris!! 3

So, if you had a bad week, why should I suffer?

Cancer, shmancer, as long as you’ve got your health!!

Chevreh, we are encouraged to serve G-d with joy. We are told to “rejoice before the Lord your G-d.” (Deuteronomy, 12:12). Reb Nachman of Bratzlav taught: “If you don’t feel happy, pretend to be. If you are downright depressed, put on a smile. Act happy. Genuine joy will follow. Always remember: Joy is not merely incidental to your spiritual quest. It is vital!” Happy Adar…Why? Because you’re so Adar-able!

Rabbi Yocheved Mintz

From the Co-President… The time is short, the task is great. Energy in the coming months will be focused on building our community and making sure that we as a congregation that can survive and thrive in 2018 and beyond. The “Trial of the Century”, February 18, 2018, will roast Judge Michael Cherry of the Nevada Supreme Court and Jolie Brislin, Executive Director of the AntiDefamation League. Please buy your tickets as soon as possible to support our congregation as well as have a wonderful time. We are also looking forward to our annual Passover Seder on March 31, 2018 at the UNLV Foundation Building. Thank you to Rabbi Mintz, Annie Wolff and the team for working diligently to make this a meaningful holiday experience. On March 4th we will be having our congregational meeting. Your input is very important. Call me with questions or suggestions anytime at 702-286-0739 Thanks for all you do!

Sam Lieberman 4

Message from Reb Jamie There is a phrase that keeps going through my head as I start to write today – ‫ כל ימי חייך‬kol y’mei chayecha – all the days of your life. This phrase is oft repeated in the text (Gen 3:14, Gen 3:16, Deut. 6:13), but why does it say, “all the DAYS of your life”, and not simply ‫ כל חייך‬kol chayecha – all of your life? Every time I sit down to write my monthly missive, I am always thinking ahead on the calendar for inspiration. What Jewish holiday happens this coming month? What are we looking forward to in the coming days? We are always on a path to the next celebration, commemoration or observance. As I write this, the winter holidays are receding into the back mirror and we are already starting to think about Purim. What can we learn from the phrase “kol y’mei chayecha” and this constant focus on looking forward? When I was in my early 20’s, I had a flash of insight. I had closed my eyes and when I opened them a moment later, I was turning 70. My life had passed by so fast that I didn’t remember anything distinctive from the intervening years. I had the sense that I had been so fully caught up in getting to the next big achievement, that the small moments that made up my life were a blur. I wasn’t able to recall what it felt like to be in my early 30’s with a baby on my back; or reading the kids a bedtime story in the darkened quiet of their bedroom; or taking an afternoon walk around the neighborhood holding hands with my husband. Most of our life is comprised of the small moments. Yes, these moments may be on the path to our next achievement, but we need to value the mundane along with the exciting. I emerged from my experience with an awareness that I needed to slow down, to acknowledge the small moments and yes, to literally stop and smell the roses. Now, I intentionally pause in front of every large beautiful flower on afternoon walks with my husband and inhale their fragrance. I imprint the smell, the sense of the sunshine on my skin, and the warmth of our conversations. Yes, we are making plans for the many Galas and other fund raisers of the season, and yes, we are planning for family simchas in the coming months, but at this moment, I am aware of the sound of my son in the shower, my husband at his computer, the beautiful winter’s day outside my window. I mark each of these moments in my mind so that when I do look back, I will remember ‫ כל ימי חיי‬kol y’mei chayyai – all the days of my life. I will not see a blur that was my life rather a collection of warm and meaningful memories. Lastly, the word "kol" not only means "all," but "each”. When one translates "kol y'mei chayecha" as "each day of your life”, it teaches us that each moments is precious. As you read this, pause what you are doing, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and be present. Mark this moment and this day in your memory so that you will remember kol y’mei chayecha - all the days of your life. Reb Jamie 5

A Note From the Cantor It was 7 years ago, when I was at a regional Cantors’ Conference in Palm Springs, when I heard about the death of Debbie Friedman z”l. It was a shock to all us attending this conference to hear the news. As a group of Cantors and Temple musicians we had all been touched by the music that she brought to our communities. We had all met and sung with her at one time or another. We all used, and continue to use her music in our worship today. At Yom Kippur, many of us watched a documentary about Debbie and her music. One of the things this movie explored was the effect her music has on Modern Judaism. Her melodies, soulful, spiritual, and, yes, even fun and toe-tapping, have brought many people together in song and prayer. This documentary also brought up the concerns ‘traditional’ cantors had about this modern music. Would it replace all the music that came before? Cantor Jacob Mendelssohn, who was one of my teachers at HUC, spoke of his concern that music like Debbie’s, being used in modern synagogues, was discarding the traditions of the past. Using this music would make us lose some of our past, he protested. But, to his credit, after he worked with Debbie for a while, he developed a great respect for her contributions and genuinely overcame his concern. I understood his concern. After studying with him, and other cantors of note, I was given a great exposure to our rich tradition in synagogue music. But the other thing I learned was that each generation added to that legacy, based on the music of their era and community. I have sung some wonderful synagogue melodies that come from the Renaissance period. There is an incredible Bar’chu by Rossi that has a Baroque sound that just puts chills down my spine. It was different from anything I have ever heard in Jewish music before. Many Jewish composers, like Lewandowski, Sulzer and Helfman, of the mid-18th and 19th century followed the style of that era. Some of them were also court composers, or where good friends of those court composers, like Schuman, and Schubert. The music sung in their synagogues was ‘modern’ for their times. So, we are doing no differently. We have taken the music style of our times and brought it into our synagogues. This is how Debbie Friedman was an innovator for modern Jewish music. She wanted to find a way to bring people into the synagogues, and used her natural talent in making music to do so. She showed the way for the next generation of song writers and guided us in song to a higher spiritual plane. Let us not make the mistake of dismissing all the music that came before her. That music too, can bring us to a higher spiritual plane. As the Cantor of P’nai Tikvah I hope to continue to bring many styles of ‘Jewish’ music to our worship, and help to bring all to great heights. L’Shalom and Happy 20Chai

Cantor Marla Goldberg 6

His Honor, Judge Michael Cherry of the Nevada Supreme Court

Jolie Brislin, Executive Director of the Anti-Defamation League 702-869-2700 for tickets with-michael-cherry-and-jolie-brislin/


Please join Hadassah of Southern Nevada as we honor:

Auction, Dinner, & Dancing Please RSVP by February 5, 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa 8


KIDZ KORNER for February

How We Can Help the “Trial of the Century” . . .


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kets c i T Ad Buy n a l l Se n Ad Place a

wings a r D y it n u t r e for Oppo lu a V f o s Get item

. . . by working together 10


Aileen Charner -Remembered by Cindy Fox Stanley Feinberg -Remembered by Faith Silverman Fred Halperin -Rememberd by Ellen Royer Hyman Klane -Remembered by Susan Dubin Bernice & Howard Linker -Remembered by Scott Linker Edward Paykel -Remembered by Gary Paykel Bertha Platt -Remembered by Zandra Bender Julian Ullman -Remembered by Gary Ullman Dora & Jacob Weiman -Remembered by Barbara Holland Eleanor Wohl -Remembered by Barbara Holland

We grieve with Jen and Jerry Cohen on the loss of their grandson, Sid Aaron Cohen who passed away suddenly January 9, 2018. Memorial plaques are available; to honor the departed, to inspire the living, to be remembered in the hearts of those we leave behind is, in a sense, to live forever. For further information, call the Synagogue office at 702-436-4900 11


Daniel Piekarsky Stella Bialac Anna Gomez Joey Goodrich Gayla Wennstrom Paul Aizley Wendy Kraft Ann Mandell Vince Gardner Lorraine Brown Zelda Goldwater Faith Silverman

February 1 February 2 February 11 February 11 February 12 February 16 February 16 February 17 February 19 February 21 February 25 February 29

FEBRUARY ANNIVERSARIES Linda & Don Kauffman Paula & Jason Deal Anne & Gary Ullman Lynda & David French Barbara & Andrew Holland

February 9 February 12 February 13 February 14 February 14

Nid’vei Lev Donations from the Heart Anita Lewy

Judi Stotland

Ari Stotland

Millan Family Fund 12

BIKKUR CHOLIM Come, be trained in the art of parachaplaincy so we can attend to one another in times of illness. If you are interested in doing this mitzvah work, please contact Rabbi Mintz at 702-869-2700.

For $40.00 a prayer book can either be purchased for personal use or be dedicated to the congregation “In Memory” or “In Honor of” and a card from CPT will be sent to the family. The prayer book plate will be placed on the inside cover of our Kol HaNeshamah siddur.

If you would like a copy of Kol Kiruv sent to your home, please send $ 72.00, along with your address to: Administrative Office, 1697 Black Fox Canyon Rd, Henderson, NV 89052 Clergy and Staff Rabbi Emerita: Rabbi Yocheved Mintz Rabbinic Intern: Jamie Hyams Cantor: Cantor Marla Goldberg Educators: Rabbi Mintz and Cantor Goldberg Teacher’s Aide: Austin Royer Bookkeeper: Lynn Pisetzner Treasurer: Lynn Pisetzner Editor: Faith Silverman


P’nai Tikvah is a warm and welcoming, progressive, egalitarian, and pluralistic congregation focusing on the spiritual, educational, and social well-being of those who wish to live a fulfilling and meaningful Jewish life. 13


6:30 PM

Tot Shabbat

7:30 PM

Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv Service

February 3

9:30 AM

Torah Study

February 5

4:15 PM

Jewlicious Learning

7:00 PM

Biblical Hebrew Class

4:15 PM

Jewlicious Learning

7:00 PM

Biblical Hebrew Class

February 16

7:30 PM

Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv Service

February 17

9:30 AM

Torah Study

February 18

11:00 AM

Trial of the Century -Judge Michael Cherry and Jolie Brislin Tam Alumni Center, UNLV

February 25

6:00 PM

Hadassah Gala honoring Rabbi Mintz, Cantor Goldberg and other female clergy.

February 26

4:15 PM

Jewlicious Learning

7:00 PM

Biblical Hebrew

March 2

6:00 PM

“Come As You Aren’t” Potluck Dinner Purim Family Kabbalat Shabbat & Maariv Service at Indigo Valley Community Center (Costumes Encouraged)

March 3

8:00 PM

Queen Esther’s Ball at The Center. This all-gender costume party will thrill your senses with tasty desserts, sinful sips and tantalizing prizes.

February 12

Blessing for Adar May we be blessed with the ability to experience the joy that comes from discovering the inner divinity that exists even within the most mundane. Amen. 14

Congregation P'nai Tikvah's Kol Kiruv - February 2018 – Shevat | Adar 5778  

Congregation P'nai Tikvah is a joyful warm, welcoming spiritual home for all who are seeking a meaningful Jewish life, blending creativity a...

Congregation P'nai Tikvah's Kol Kiruv - February 2018 – Shevat | Adar 5778  

Congregation P'nai Tikvah is a joyful warm, welcoming spiritual home for all who are seeking a meaningful Jewish life, blending creativity a...